Gutfeld: Broken windows and broken cities

Gutfeld: Things happen fast when moral decline is seen as public right

Gutfeld and guests discuss crime plaguing Democrat-run cities and how Americans are fleeing to freer states on ‘Gutfeld!’

When I look at the rubble in these bombed-out cities of Ukraine, I’m reminded of some of the cities here, except our refugees are heading to Florida — and we didn’t need bombs to do it, just a few Democrat mayors who let the cities crumble into wastelands of hopelessness. 

If you brought Ukrainians from Mariupol to San Francisco to live, they’d be like, “Screw this, I’m heading home.” Things are so bad, that’s the title of Dana Perino’s new book. 

It’s a sad fact about life. As you let yourself go, it becomes easier to let yourself go even more. It’s a downward spiral: Baltimore, downtown Los Angeles, Kat’s office. That’s why we make the cleaning crew sign a waiver. 

But when you create an environment of low expectations, many join in as others flee. And if they’re Democrats, they create that environment, then flee to their gated communities, and the people left behind end up with legalized looting and no cash bail. 

Remove basic standards and you make anything possible. And like the Democratic candidates for 2024, none of the possibilities are good. 

President Biden. (Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
(Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

For the last decade, we were told that broken-windows policing was not just ineffective; it was, in fact, racist, along with math and trees and Christmas, the NFL, and being white. 

The broken-windows theory states that visible signs of crime, antisocial behavior and civil disorder creates an environment that encourages more serious crime. And by having police crack down on those visible signs, it reduces more serious offenses. 

You reverse decline and give residents a sense of pride in where they live. Simply put, people don’t crap where they eat, and in places like San Francisco, they need to take that literally. 

In New York City, when Giuliani took over, they used such policing and it worked. Crime dropped, murder rates shrunk. The city became the tourist capital of the world. You never had to watch your back — well, unless Andrew Cuomo was behind you. 

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Of course, that’s changed under the left-wing lurch known as de Blasio, who abandoned broken-windows policing. Crime has exploded. 

But it’s been good for race relations. Now people of all creed and color live with broken windows, broken noses, and broken spirits. And remember, once we start living with broken windows in the streets, it might just become everywhere. 


BOSS: Hey, Frank, you got a minute, bud? Look, as your boss, it’s been brought to my attention there have been several complaints about your behavior in the office. 

FRANK: Like what? 

BOSS: Well, your lunch, for start. Apparently, every day you’ve been microwaving your broccoli, fish, and sauerkraut casserole. 

FRANK: I’m on keto. 

BOSS: Well, you’ve also been caught stealing Rebecca’s breast milk out of the fridge, and we have got to have a conversation about your excessive bathroom breaks in the elevator. I just want to know what led to all this bad behavior. 

FRANK: Oh, broken windows. 

BOSS: OK, well, that makes sense. Tell you what, you know, it sounds like you should be running things around here. I quit — and good luck. 


You know, I said, “Let’s do a skit about broken-windows policing.” I should have probably been more specific or maybe offered a few ideas — something that might have actually contributed to this monologue. 

But for some reason, I found that entertaining. Alright. 

But maybe things are changing in New York City. Last week, two dozen shootings took place that left 29 people wounded. 

These sound like cab stats. Suddenly, Manhattan became Chicago, but with way better pizza. 

So new Mayor Eric Adams rushed to get more cops on the street in a “revival of broken-windows policies.” 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Now they’ve decided to crack down on shootings. Gee, what a novel approach to law and order. 

I’m sure Alvin Bragg will have them back on the streets quicker than you can say “stab wounds.” 

Meanwhile, something weird is happening at The New York Times. They’re admitting that yes, there is a crime wave, after all. 

First, of course, they blame everything but their own progressive idiocy. They point to the pandemic, social isolation, lawlessness stemming from police violence — yeah, it’s the cops’ fault — as well as a rise in gun sales, because it’s legal gun owners mugging you. 

It’s a list of the usual suspects, which for liberals never includes criminal suspects. But then they admit it’s not only gun crime that’s rising. 

And also, crime isn’t being limited to the places where police brutality has been worst. And if the pandemic had caused it, why isn’t the crime wave hitting other countries? 

Then the Times writer blames a “breakdown in societal norms.” 

Well get the smelling salts, because I think I’m about to faint. 

It seems, apparently, when people feel frustrated with society, they lose trust in fairness in institutions, causing a decline in empathy. 

Most of us don’t commit crimes, but social alienation makes some people more willing to break the rules, creating this two-year crime wave. So that’s one explanation. 

But what’s it mean? Well, I doubt all it takes to go criminal is a lack of trust. It’s not like a cheating boyfriend who turns you into a lesbian for one college semester. 

But what the research is saying is that when you let yourself go, you let everyone go, and it happens fast when this moral decline is seen as a public right, meaning if leaders accept that a homeless male living on the street doing drugs and harassing women is a lifestyle, then it becomes one. 

If there are no consequences, go ahead and give in to your darker impulses. Throw your trash out the window. Punch an old lady. 

No one can judge your lifestyle, even if it leads to the death style of someone else. Tent cities and homeless encampments spread because our political leaders, so terrified of the woke, lost the b—- to set standards and found dereliction preferable to policing. 

Now, smash-and-grabs are regular occurrences. That’s because the number one rule of libs and establishment media is to never judge anyone’s behavior unless, of course, it’s a political opponent. 

Everyone else gets a pass because, who knows? One day they might vote for you … or stab you — whichever comes first.

This article is adapted from Greg Gutfeld’s opening commentary on the March 24, 2022, edition of “Gutfeld!” 

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